Black History: No. 2 Construction Battalion

Posted on Jan. 14, 2016 by in Latest Stamps

The men of the No. 2 Construction Battalion left Halifax March 28, 1917, to assist with Canada’s war effort in Europe. This stamp, designed by Lara Minja of Lime Design, recognizes the contributions they made and the challenges they met – including the discrimination they faced before leaving home.

When war broke out in 1914, Canadians heeded the call to enlist. Black Canadians, however, were less than welcome in the eyes of some recruiters, and many were turned away due to prejudice. On July 5, 1916, faced with protests and a need for manpower, militia officials created a special unit where these proud men could serve their country as part of the Forestry Corps in France.

The men of the No. 2 Construction Battalion harvested, milled and shipped timber to the Western Front. In camp, they faced harsh conditions, segregated accommodations and back-breaking work. Some did not return home. A few found ways to join other units and fought at Vimy Ridge and in other battles.

“This stamp celebrates the drive, commitment and effort of these somewhat forgotten soldiers,” says Minja. “I hope that uncovering their story allows them to take their fair place in Canadian history.”

Stamp Specifications

  • Product #: 414002111
  • Layout: Booklet of 10 stamps
  • Price: $8.50
  • Denomination: Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • Design: Lime design Inc.
  • Dimensions: 32 mm x 32 mm
  • Illustration: Dennis Budgen, Istockphoto
  • Photo: Black Cultural Center for Nova Scotia
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Printing Process: Lithography in 6 colours
  • Quantity: 140,000
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  • Product #: 414002131
  • Layout: Official First Day Cover
  • Price: $1.85
  • Denomination: Permanent™ (domestic rate)
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Pictou NS
  • Design: Lime design Inc.
  • Dimensions: 191 mm x 113 mm
  • Illustration: Dennis Budgen, Istockphoto
  • Photo: Black Cultural Center for Nova Scotia
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Quantity: 10,000
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